Background

Frank Hicks was called to the Bar in 2003. He is generally briefed in commercial matters, and primarily engaged in technology and construction disputes concerning commercial, industrial and infrastructure projects, and large-scale residential developments.

Frank has been briefed to appear in the Federal Court, and in the courts and tribunals of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and the ACT. In addition, he has appeared in domestic and international arbitrations, and advised and appeared in other forms of alternate dispute resolution, including mediation and expert determination.

Since 2014, Doyles Guide has ranked Frank as a leading junior counsel in construction law, in both NSW and Australia. Since 2015, he has been identified in the Chambers and Partners Guide, Asia-Pacific as a Band 1 barrister in Australia for construction and infrastructure disputes, described as "a 'go to' barrister for construction and engineering disputes", having "a clear analytical approach to construction issues", and "a popular choice for construction and technology disputes and offers experience in a range of forums.

From 1996 to 2002, Frank was employed at Clayton Utz, Sydney. In 2000, he was appointed the role of Senior Associate in the Disputes division of the Construction & Major Projects Group. From 1993-1996, he was a solicitor with Marsdens, where he worked in general litigation in Campbelltown and Sydney.

Frank Hicks has been published in the Building and Construction Law Journal and, in 2006, completed the updating and editing of Halsbury's Laws of Australia, Building and Construction title. He has also made presentations for Building and Construction Disputes Workshops, NSW Young Lawyers CLE seminars, and local Law Society CLE seminars.

In September 2011, he presented an assessment of the law and risks associated with coal seam gas exploration and extraction (fracking) for the NSW Claims Discussion Group. He is also interested in the law as to expert evidence and, since 2005, has intermittently set and marked the evidence exam for the Admission to the Bar Practice Course.



Focus Areas + Select Cases

Downer Constructions (PNG) v The State of Papua New Guinea – International arbitration in respect of claims for additional monies for delay and variations arising out of the construction of the Ramu Highway in PNG. Proceedings heard before an international arbitral tribunal in Brisbane. Amount in issue: approximately $A40M.

Dematic v Nedcon Magazijninrichting – International arbitration arising out of the design, fabrication, supply and construction of a regional storage and distribution facility in Queensland. Proceedings heard before an international arbitral tribunal in Sydney. Amount in issue: approximately $20M.

AE&E Australia Pty Ltd v Sino Iron Pty Ltd – Arbitration proceedings concerning claims and counter claims arising out of the design, construction, and commissioning of a combined cycle power plant for mining activities in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Proceedings heard before an arbitral tribunal in Perth. Amount in issue: approximately $225M.

Walker Group Constructions ats Tzaneros – NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning claims for defects in concrete pavements at a trade and transport terminal facility at Molineaux Point, Port Botany. Amount in issue: approximately $15M.

Redpath Australia Pty Limited v Copper Mines of Tasmania Pty Limited NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning claims and counter claims for monies and damages arising out of underground or sub-level cave mining operations at Mt Lyell, Tasmania. Amount in issue: approximately $40M.

Stockland Trust Management Ltd v Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction – NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning disputes and claims arising out of a contract for the refurbishment and expansion of Townsville Shopping Centre in North Queensland. Amount in issue: approximately $50M. 

Brookfield Multiplex ats The Owners of Strata Plan 74602 & Anor [2015] NSWSC 1916NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning claims for defects and associated loss in respect of a high rise residential development known as the Beau Monde in North Sydney comprising 241 strata apartments. Amount in issue: approximately $45M.


Notable Cases

Brookfield Multiplex ats The Owners of Strata Plan 74602 & Anor [2015] NSWSC 1916 – NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning claims for defects and associated loss in respect of a high rise residential development known as the Beau Monde in North Sydney comprising 241 strata apartments. Amount in issue: approximately $45M. Read More

BMD Major Projects & Ors ats Patrick Stevedores Operations & Anor - NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning claims for defects in asphalt pavements at a trade and transport terminal facility operated by Patrick Stevedores at Port Botany. Amount in issue: approximately $100M.

Babcock & Brown International ats Metro Chatswood & Ors - NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning the construction of the retail shopping centre as part of the Chatswood Transport Interchange development. Amount in issue: approximately $68M.

H&M Engineering v Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction – disputes and claims arising out of a contract for the supply and installation of structural and other fabricated steelwork for the new wharf structure, built as part of the construction of new coal loading facilities at Kooragang Island, Newcastle. Amount in issue: approximately $20M. Read More

InfraShore Pty Ltd v Health Administration Corporation [2015] NSWSC 736 – NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning claims for monies arising out of the redevelopment of Royal North Shore Hospital. Amount in issue: approximately $16M. Read More

F Hannan Properties v JPRA & Ors - NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning claims for defects and associated loss for the development of the Sydney Corporate Park at Alexandria. Amount in issue: approximately $10M.

Makita v Australand Industrial Constructions - Arbitration proceedings concerning claims in respect of the design and construction of a warehouse distribution facility at Eastern Creek, New South Wales. Amount in issue: approximately $8M.

Skilled Group Ltd v CSR Viridian Ltd [2012] VSC 290 – Victorian Supreme Court proceedings concerning the upgrade of a float glass production facility at Dandenong, Victoria. Amount in issue: approximately $8M. Read More

RSA (Moorvale) v VDM CCE - NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning the construction of an accommodation village (320 units) at the Macarthur Coal mine site, Coppabella, Queensland. Amount in issue: approximately $8M.

Thiess Pty Ltd & Anor v Reinforced Earth Company Pty Ltd - NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning the design and construction of concrete arch structures as part of the civil works for the Epping to Chatswood Railway Line. Amount in issue: approximately $6M.

Neumann Contractors v Wyong Shire Council - NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning the rehabilitation of a waste site and the construction of a sporting fields complex. Amount in issue: approximately $6M.

Lane Cove Council v Michael Davies Associates Pty Limited & Ors NSW Supreme Court proceedings concerning the construction of the Lane Cove Aquatic Centre. Amount in issue: approximately $2.5M.



In addition, Frank Hicks has appeared in many cases concerning the operation and effect of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) and the validity of adjudication determinations in the NSW Supreme Court and the NSW Court of Appeal, including Minister for Commerce v Contrax Plumbing (NSW) Pty Ltd & Ors, Dualcorp Pty Ltd v Remo Constructions Pty Ltd and Clyde Bergemann v Varley Power.

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